Candied Orange & Pistachio Raw Chocolate Cake

Thursday, 17 July 2014

(4 comments)
I've got another tangy citrus recipe to share with you from this month's Nourish magazine- however this one is a little more on the indulgent side! I'm definitely a savoury kind of girl when it comes to treats but I certainly can't go past a good ol' slice of cake. Especially when it's a 'free' kind of cake, even better! In my last post I touched on the benefits of incorporating citrus into your diet during winter- oranges are currently in season and are at their best in terms of flavour. Their vitamin c content and high levels of antioxidants are great for your immune system and assist in keeping those winter bugs at bay.

I made this cake for my Dad's birthday a little while back and I must say it was a hit. The combination of chocolate, pistachios with the orange are unbeatable. The best thing about this cake is that it is gluten free, sugar free, dairy free AND raw. It really is too good to be true.

****The entire chocolate cake in this recipe is raw, the candied oranges are not raw. Use freshly sliced oranges instead to decorate if you want 100% raw!

INGREDIENTS
For the candied oranges-
1 medium sized orange, very thinly sliced
3 tbs rice malt syrup
3 tbs water
Pinch vanilla powder or 1/8 vanilla pod seeds

For the cake base-
180g pistachios
180g medjool dates
2 tbs raw cocoa powder
Pinch sea salt

For the cake centre-
500g raw cashews, soaked for a minimum of 8 hours
4 tbs maple syrup
4 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs coconut oil, melted
Zest of ½ an orange
juice 1 orange
¼ tsp vanilla powder or ½ vanilla pods seeds
Pinch sea salt

HOW IT'S DONE
For this recipe you need to begin by soaking the cashews in water for 8 hours, or overnight. Make sure they are fully submerged in water.

For the candied orange top, in a medium sized saucepan place water and rice malt syrup. Add vanilla and bring to the boil. Add orange slices. Let it boil for 1 minute then turn down to low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until oranges turn translucent and syrup is very sticky. Carefully remove from the pan and let oranges cool on baking paper.

For the base, line a 24cm round spring cake tin. Blitz all ingredients together in a food processor until a chunky crumb forms. Press firmly into the cake tin and place in the fridge.

For the cake centre blitz all ingredients together in a food processor for 5 minutes or until a very smooth and mousse like consistency forms.  Spread the mixture onto the top of the cake crust and let it set in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.

Top the cake with the candied orange and a scatter of roughly chopped pistachios.  Serve straight from the fridge. Most of all, enjoy!


Tangelo, Mozzarella & Crunchy Quinoa Salad

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

(6 comments)
Citrus fruits are plentiful in Australia at the moment, with grapefruits, oranges, lemons, limes and tangelo's all currently in season. The mighty citrus is the fruit group you want to be eating during the cold winter months. Not just because they are particularly juicy and delicious at the moment, but they are also rich in antioxidants and vitamin c which boost your immune systems- helping to fight off those winter nasties!

I contributed a few citrus recipes to the June issue of Nourish Magazine, this tangelo and crunchy quinoa salad was by far my favourite dish. It's the perfect salad for a light lunch alongside a plate of protein, or as an entree when you're entertaining.  

Tangelo's are a hybrid fruit of an orange, mandarin and grapefruit. They have a wonderful aroma and sharp sweet flavour- if you can't find them at your local grocer oranges or grapefruit would work just as well as a substitute. Tangelo's are rich in dietary fibre, essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, B6  and C. They are also high in flavanoids which assist with inflammation related diseases such as asthma and arthritis. Incorporating citrus into your diet during this time of the year will be nothing but positive!

This recipe serves 2, you'll need-

INGREDIENTS
For the salad-
1 large tangelo, skin removed and segments sliced
100g buffalo mozzarella, approx. 1 large ball, roughly torn
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbs cooked quinoa (I like to use white for this), plus olive oil for frying
Handful basil
Freshly cracked pepper and sea salt, to taste

For the dressing-
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs olive oil

HOW IT'S DONE
Heat a small frypan on high heat, add 2 tbs of olive oil and let the oil heat through for 1 minute. Add the cooked quinoa and stir continuously for 3 minutes or until the quinoa has turned golden and is crisp. Spoon the quinoa out of the fry pan and let drain on paper towel, set aside.

Place the sliced tangelo, mozzarella and tomatoes on a serving platter, top with the crispy quinoa and basil leaves. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and cracked pepper to taste.

Photography by Phu Tang


Zucchini, Fetta & Quinoa Frittata Loaf

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

(2 comments)
I'm a huge fan of the humble egg, I eat at least one egg one way or another every day. I love to soft boil them for breakfast and lunch and if I'm at home by myself for dinner they will often feature as an omelette. I think I like them so much because not only are they delicious, I find they satisfy my hunger and keep me going in-between meals, I'm a very good snack-er! It's not always easy to whip out a pot of boiling water or a fry pan during the day so I've done quite a bit of testing to bring you an all in one egg meal. 

This frittata style slice is packed with zucchini, so you can get your vegetable quota without even realising it. Zucchini is high in manganese which helps your metabolism process carbohydrates and proteins- umm, bring that on! It's also high in vitamin A and C which help fight inflammation such as arthritis and asthma.

This loaf is great for on the go and makes for a delicious breakfast. To make it you will need- 

INGREDIENTS
4 cups grated zucchini
1 cup cooked white quinoa
6 eggs
2 tbs buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 large brown onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 tsp olive oil
200g full fat fetta
1/4 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 bunch mint, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric, ground
1 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1 tsp sea salt
Cracked pepper & salt
HOW IT'S DONE
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrease Celsius, fan forced. Line a 25cm loaf tin with baking paper. Make sure you line the ends as well as the eggy mixture likes to stick! Place the grated zucchini in a colendar and sprinkle with sea salt. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then squeeze to drain out excess moisture. Gently fry the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the dry herbs an cook for a further minute. Combine all of the remaining ingredients together in a mixing bowl, stir with a spatula until fully combined. Add the onion, garlic and spices and combine. Don't freak out, the mixture will be very wet. This is why it needs quite a bit of time in the oven than your regular loaf bake. Pour mixture into the loaf tin and cook for 60-70 minutes. The top should be golden in colour and firm to touch when done. Turn out onto a cooking rack and serve immediately. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week, can be eat cold straight from the fridge or toast in a sandwich press to crisp up and warm through. Enjoy!


Raspberry, Yoghurt & Muesli Breakfast Pop

Friday, 23 May 2014

(9 comments)
May in Sydney has been surprisingly warm this year. The sun is shining and with temperatures still above 25 degrees it's hard to imagine Winter is just days away. In keeping with this I'm going to use the warm weather as an excuse to share this not-so-in-season post you'll definitely enjoy. 

I've been a little bad, okay maybe quite a lot bad with my posting over the last couple of months. A few things have changed with my work life, resulting in it being difficult to team up with my dear friends who for the last year have been shooting my recipes. I've also been busy working on some exciting new projects of mine, and sometimes in life something just has to give. Alas I'm back onto it and this week is the first post I have shot myself in my kitchen at home. I'm quite the perfectionist (eek) and I hope you enjoy the first edition of hopefully many more to come Lush styling AND photography posts.

Now enough of that and onto the recipe. The greatest thing about this recipe is that it uses frozen raspberries which are available all year round. They are reasonably priced and I think are the most delicious out of the frozen fruit aisle.  I find them to be the only frozen fruit that keeps their flavour and zing after frozen. Raspberries are rich in insoluble fibre, which means they help you feel fuller and for longer- making it a great fruit to eat in the morning. They are high in vitamin C, low in calories and are a great source of antioxidants. Having them lying around in the freezer to use any time of year is a must!

These breakfast pops are a breeze to make and great to grab on the run in the morning. I'm going to be honest I may nibble on them in the car when I'm really pressed for time.

Now to make these you will need ice block moulds. I bought mine from a storage container shop, I've seen them at most $2 shops too. You will also need muesli- I made a batch of my toasted vanilla spelt muesli to mix through the yoghurt.  It's a refined sugar free recipe, if you have time to make it, give it a go. If not a toasted or raw nut & seed muesli works best. This batch will make 4 pops, however this will vary depending on the size of the moulds you use.

TOOLS
Ice block mould
Pop sticks

INGREDIENTS
1 cup full fat Greek yoghurt
1 tsp maple syrup
Pinch vanilla powder
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup muesli

HOW IT'S DONE
In a small mixing bowl combine the yoghurt, maple syrup and vanilla powder. Stir till combined. I don't like things too sweet- have a taste and if you want to add a little more maple syrup do so. Add the muesli and roughly stir through. I like to leave some bits of muesli not totally combined so you get chinks throughout the pop. Spoon the yoghurt mixture into the ice block moulds, layering with the frozen raspberries. Once full, place wooden pop sticks into the centre of the mixture, push down until they are half way in- make sure you have enough room to hold it! Place the container in the freezer for at least 4 hours, or until frozen. Run under warm water to release them from the mould. Enjoy relaxing at home or on the run!

Gemma x



Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Grapefruit & Crispy Quinoa

Friday, 2 May 2014

(6 comments)



I'm pretty thrilled to have contributed to one of my favourite blogs this week, Sous Style. Hop on over to their site- if it's not on your bookmarks it certainly will be once you've had a peek. I have cooked a spiced roast cauliflower salad with grapefruit and crispy quinoa and a little harissa yoghurt dressing.

There is a Q&A about my work life as a stylist as well of pictures of me at home in my kitchen with my new pup Ace the Aussie bulldog. You'll also find the delicious recipe for the cauliflower salad. I hope you enjoy reading and cooking, and finding out a little bit more about me!

Gemma xx

Sous Style Article here Cauliflower Recipe here

Photography by Dave Wheeler


Juniper Cured Easter Gravlax

Thursday, 17 April 2014

(3 comments)

Easter is just around the corner and I have just the thing for you to cook (or should I say cure) to enjoy over the weekend if you're entertaining. Curing salmon might seem a little daunting but my dear friend Lizzie has the easiest recipe- and boy is it delicious. You know I'm quite a visual person and bringing this dish out over the Easter long weekend will make everyone go WOW- I promise!
Now I know there is a lot of sugar and salt in this recipe which isn't usually my thing, but this helps cure the salmon and most of it gets scrapped off at the end anyway. Curing salmon is an ancient method of preserving, it's how the Vikings preserved their fish when they went out on hunting trips but instead of weights and a refrigerator, they buried their salmon under a metre of sand.
I'm a little bit excited by this recipe, so let's get to it! 

INGREDIENTS & TOOLS 
Tools-
Kitchen weights such as bricks wrapped in foil or food cans, large deep-sided tray, plastic wrap
Gravlax-
1 x 1 kg salmon fillet, skin on, trimmed and pin-boned  
300 g rock salt  
100 white sugar 
2 bunches of dill, finely chopped 
1 lemon, zested  
1 tablespoon juniper berries 
¼ cup gin

To serve try creme fraiche, picked red onions or dill cucumbers, lemon and rye bread. Or whatever you fancy! 

HOW IT'S DONE 
Definitely get your fishmonger to prepare your salmon fillet. You'll thank him when you get home.

Combine salt, sugar, dill, lemon zest, juniper berries and gin in a bowl. Mix until you have a wet sand consistency.

Lay 2 pieces of plastic wrap, long enough to wrap your salmon, out on your bench. You will need to slightly overlap these. Spread half the salt mixture out and place salmon, skin side down on top. Cover salmon with remaining salt mixture. You want your salmon to be completely covered with the salt mixture, just like a salt crust. Wrap your salmon tightly up in the plastic wrap and then place in a deep-sided tray. The salmon will leak out a lot of moisture so keep this in mind. It will look like green oil.  

Cover deep-sided tray with another layer of plastic wrap. Top salmon with weights such as foil wrapped bricks or food cans. I sometimes wrap a 2L bottle of milk in foil to weight on top. Whatever you have that will sit and apply weight on the salmon.

Refrigerate for 24 hours and then remove weights, turn salmon over, replace weights and refrigerator for another 24 hours. 

To serve, unwrap your gravlax and wipe all the salt mixture off. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.

You can leave the skin on or remove it by placing the fish skin side down, start at the tail end, cut into the fillet and then tilt your knife and run it under the skin, separating it from the fillet.

Thinly slice your salmon and serve with pickled onions or dill cucumbers, sour cream and rye bread.

Have a happy, safe and relaxing Easter!

Gemma x

Recipe by Elizabeth Hewson, Photography by Phu Tang, Styling by Gemma Lush


Cosy Lentils with Labneh

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

(1 comments)
This might not be the most a-mazing looking dish but I can tell you with my hand on my heart that it is THE best way to cook and eat lentils. We've wound the clocks back in Sydney and the temperature is dropping as well as the hours of sunlight in the evening. This instantly makes me crave hearty, homestyle food. Comforting and hearty food does not need to be packed with heavy carbs and everything else naughty associated with such food. This French lentil recipe will leave you feeling full, satisfied and great on the inside. It tastes even better the next day so is great to cook at the beginning of the week if you know you're not going to have time to cook come dinner time.

This recipe calls for French lentils, also known as 'Puy' lentils. You can find these at good grocers and they won't break the budget. Lentils are high in protein so they assist with keeping you feel fuller for longer. They are gluten free, high in dietary fibre and are low in calories and fat. Quite the mighty legume is the lentil.

This lovely lentil recipe is by my super talented friend Lizzie from Moving Out Eating in. To whip it up you will need-

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoon olive oil
100g rindless bacon, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small brown onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
3 sticks celery, finely diced
½ bunch parsley, stems finely chopped, leaves chopped and put aside for garnish
1 tbs thyme leaves
1 cup Puy or “French” lentils
3 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tbs red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to serve
Labneh to serve (you can buy from good grocers or try making my recipe here)

HOW IT'S DONE
In a deep-sided saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the bacon for 2-3 minutes or until golden.  Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, parsley stalks, and thyme and cook for 5 minutes or until they start to soften. Add the lentils and coat in the oil and vegetable mixture. Pour in the chicken stock and add the bay leaves. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the lentils are softened and the stock has been absorbed. Remove bay leaves and stir in Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide amongst bowls and dollop with labneh and sprinkle with reserved parsley. The lentils will keep for 4 days in the fridge and serves 4-6.

Recipe Elizabeth Hewson, Photography Phu Tang



Lemon & Vanilla Poached Plums

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

(2 comments)
Plums are one of my favourite summer fruits. Although the Sydney summer has come to an end, you'll still see very good quality and reasonable plums at the grocer, so while you can still get your hands on them - poaching them is the way to go!Many of you will know I try not to include too much fruit and sugars into my diet, so I mainly make these plums as an after dinner treat if I'm entertaining. They make for a great guilt free dessert and are a lovely balance of tart and sweet. You can cook these up in advance and serve chilled or slightly warmed through. The best thing is they will keep in the fridge for at least a week. They are also super delicious on top of my spelt muesli with a dollop of Greek yoghurt!Plums are plentiful in minerals such as potassium, fluoride and iron. They also contain vitamin A which assist in healthy eyesight and skin. They are full of dietary fibre, sorbitol and isatin which are known to be beneficial to your digestive system. I was quite surprised when researching how many benefits these stone fruit beauties hold! They really are such a magnificent fruit.
INGREDIENTS6 medium sized plums , halved with stones in
2 cups water
5 tbs rice malt syrup
1 vanilla bean, split in half
zest of 1 lemon

HOW IT’S DONE
Place the water, lemon zest, vanilla bean and rice malt syrup into a medium sized pot. Bring to the boil and let it bubble away on high heat for 10 minutes. This will help the vanilla and lemon begin to release their flavour.  Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the plums, arranging them cut side down in the pot. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, then turn over using a spoon, to cut-side up. Simmer on low for another 15 minutes. At this point taste the syrup to make sure you are happy with the flavour. Rice malt syrup is around 1/3 less sweet than sugar so you may need to add a little more depending on your tastebuds. 

Serve immediately with yoghurt, or refrigerate once cool.

Photography by Andy Stavert

Poached Salmon, Herb & Pearl Cous-Cous Salad

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

(6 comments)

My lovely friend Lizzie Hewson has jetted off to Italy, but the week before she left we had an amazing day cooking, styling and shooting for our blogs together. While she will be greatly missed it's pretty exciting that she is following her passion to learn everything gastronomy in Bra, Piedmont Italy. Jealous?! Maybe a little bit!

So now for Lizzie's recipe. I love beginning the week on a really healthy note, and this poached salmon salad is just that. It's a great one to make early in the week as this recipe is quite generous- so hello left-over lunches! Now don't be scared about the thought of poaching salmon- I was a little hesitant by the thought of doing this but it really is o-so easy.

Poaching the fish results in juicy, tender and flakey salmon. It is great because you don't need to use any additional oils or butters when cooking, say if you were to pan fry. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that hold anti-inflammatory properties. Omega 3 is also said to help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and it is packed full of protein so will keep you going during the afternoon or make you feel totally satisfied after dinner. This recipe calls for pearled cous-cous which is absolutely delicious. You could also try quinoa, brown rice or buckwheat instead. It's up to you! I find I eat so many of these super grains the cous-cous makes for a nice change. 

INGREDIENTS
2 lemons, peeled and juice reserved
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp salt
2 salmon fillets, skin off and pin-boned 
400g pearl cous cous, quinoa, buckwheat or brown rice
2 cups baby spinach leaves
½ cup flat-leaf parsley (roughly ½ bunch), chopped 
½ cup mint (roughly ½ bunch), chopped
¼ cup dill, (roughly ¼ bunch), finely chopped
1 avocado, sliced 
Sea salt and black pepper to season

For the dressing-
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ garlic clove, grated
Juice of 2 lemons

HOW IT'S DONE
Place the salt, lemon peel and bay leaves in a large, deep frying pan with roughly 4 cups of water and bring to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes or so to allow flavours to infuse. Remove from the heat and add salmon fillets. Leave to poach in the heat of the water for 15 minutes. Remove and drain fish on paper towels. Flake into pieces and set aside.

Cook the cous-cous according to packet instructions or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water.

Place the cous-cous, flaked salmon, baby spinach, avocado, parsley, mint and dill into a large bowl. In a small jar, shake the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, garlic and salt and pepper together. Drizzle over salad and gently toss to combine.

Serves 6-8

Photography by Phu Tang, Recipe by Lizzie Hewson, Styling by Gemma Lush

Get Your Pancake On! Vanilla Buckwheat Style

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

(1 comments)

Today is Shrove Tuesday AKA pancake day! So with that said, it seemed only fair to give you an excuse to get the fry pan out with my vanilla buckwheat pancakes. They are gluten free and pretty guilt free so no need to feel like you are off to a terrible start to the week!

This recipe is all about the buckwheat flour. It is made from ground buckwheat, a grain like seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. Whole buckwheat is a great ingredient- you can boil it and use it in salads, instead of cracked wheat in your tabouli, and in porridge and breakfast birchers. Buckwheat and buckwheat flour have a high nutritional value, containing disease fighting flavanoids and magnesium. It really is a great ingredient that I recommend you try and incorporate into your diet, particularly if you are gluten intolerant or try to avoid it in your diet.

Now because we're using buckwheat, these pancakes aren't like your everyday pancake. They have a really nutty and rich flavour which I love because it means I won't end up eating 1000 of them in one sitting. Yay! Two of them along with berries, honey and a dollop of Greek yoghurt will leave you feeling very content and keep you going well until lunch time. They make for a really great late breakfast on a Sunday.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp greek yoghurt
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs coconut oil, for frying
Greek yoghurt and honey to finish plus the fruit of your choice
HOW IT'S DONE
Sift the buckwheat flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients and whisk well until combined. The batter should be thick and smooth. Heat a large non-stick fry pan on a high heat, add a little of the coconut oil and let it melt in the pan for approx. 10 seconds. Using a ladle or a large spoon dollop the mixture into the centre of the pan. Let it sit for 2 minutes or until bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Using a spatula flip and cook the other side for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and repeat.

These pancakes are best served hot with the greek yoghurt, blueberries, honey and add a little more cinnamon if you're a fan.  You could try sliced mango and a little drizzle of coconut milk, nectarines and banana would be delicious too. Let me know what your favourite pancake topping is!
Photography by Andy Stavert


Spiced Eggplant & Buffalo Mozzarella Salad

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

(8 comments)

Over the weekend I decided to change my weekly posts to a Tuesday morning instead of the usual Monday. This is so I can give myself a little more time once the weekend has passed to edit my post and bring you (hopefully) a more cohesive read! And who wants to be up typing on a Sunday night- the weekend always seems to just slip away doesn't it!?


I'm really excited to share this recipe with you, it was inspired from a recent work trip to Dubai, where I styled for the new Toko Dubai restaurant. One evening whilst there we went to Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar, a modern Indian restaurant. It was hands down THE BEST Indian food I have ever, ever eaten. The flavours were intense, hot and fresh with a modern twist. I left feeling full, nourished and totally satisfied.  I really recommend you try and get there if you're heading to Dubai! 


The most memorable dish was an entre of smoked and roasted spiced eggplant, with pine nuts and mozzarella. I know it sounds a bit Indian-gone-Italian, but the texture and flavours were a match made in heaven. When I returned to Sydney I thought I'd give it a go- obviously it's not spot on but is inspired by the dish I ate, and is pretty damn delicious.



All you need for this recipe is a hot oven and a baking tray.  It's very straight forward and simple which is always a big tick in my book! It's best to let the eggplant cool a little before plating up and is also delicious served cold too.

INGREDIENTS
2 medium sized eggplants
1 large buffalo mozzarella, roughly torn
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp garam masala
good pinch sea salt
40g pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 tbs full fat Greek yoghurt
Juice 1/2 lemon
Handful freshly chopped parsley & mint

HOW IT'S DONE
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Chop the eggplant into quarters lengthways, then into smaller inch sized pieces. Place in a mixing bowl.  Add all of the spices and salt, then 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Give them a good toss to coat in the spices.  Place the eggplant on a large baking tray and roast for 50 minutes.  I like my eggplant to be quite soft and then crisp on the outside. Once done, leave out to cool.  When the eggplant is no longer piping hot, add the yoghurt and toss again to coat the eggplant.  Place the eggplant on a serving platter, then top with the torn buffalo mozzarella.  Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and lemon. Add the fresh herbs and pine nuts. Enjoy! This will feed 4 people easily along with a protein such as grilled chicken, fish or beef.

Photography by Andy Stavert



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